Election News

Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana to Retire

Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana announced his retirement Wednesday. Now in his 18th term, he's the third most senior Democrat in the U.S. House. Visclosky chairs the defense appropriations panel, overseeing a budget of over $700 billion.

Visclosky represents Indiana's first district, a fairly safe Democratic district in the northwestern part of the state, including Gary. Hillary Clinton won this district by about 13 points in 2016.

Democrats Win Virginia General Assembly; Will Control Redistricting

Democrats took control of Virginia's General Assembly in Tuesday's elections, flipping both the Senate and the House of Delegates. This gives the party its first trifecta* since 1993Democrats erased a two-seat GOP edge in both chambers, 

In addition to controlling all levers of state government, the win gives Democrats control over the redistricting process after the 2020 Census. For more on this, see this article on the importance of Tuesday's General Assembly elections in Virginia.

Democrats Flip Kentucky Governor; GOP Holds Mississippi

There was a split-decision in the two gubernatorial races contested on Tuesday.

Kentucky Governor 

Unpopular Republican Gov. Matt Bevin lost his bid for a 2nd term to his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Andy Beshear. Bevin has thus far refused to concede the closely-contested race, which was only decided by about 5,000 votes.

Election Day 2019: Overview and Live Results

Election Day 2019 has us following two competitive gubernatorial races as well as elections that will decide control of the General Assembly in Virginia.  

Kentucky Governor 

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is seeking a 2nd term in this deep red state. Should be nothing to see here, yet the race is a toss-up as Bevin has managed to become the most unpopular governor in the country over his four years in office. He narrowly won a competitive primary over state representative Robert Goforth. One of the other candidates in that primary has endorsed Bevin's opponent, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.  That said, he does have a big supporter in his corner - President Trump held a rally for Bevin in Lexington Monday night.

The Importance of Tuesday's General Assembly Elections in Virginia

This article is the first written for us by Seth Moskowitz, who will be contributing to 270toWin during the 2020 election.

On Tuesday, Virginia voters will elect the state legislature responsible for drawing state and congressional district lines following the 2020 Census, a task that will define the state’s political landscape for a decade.  If Democrats can flip both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly, the party will have unilateral power over this crucial process. The election has attracted unusual attention for a state legislative contest, bringing in over $52 million in campaign donations and attracting national political figures including Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders to headline campaign events.

The Virginia election kicks off Democrats' 2019 and 2020 plan to claw back from the 958 state legislative seat deficit the party incurred during the Obama presidency. These down-ballot net losses gave Republicans the power to draw 193 congressional districts following the 2010 Census; Democrats had control over just 44. This cemented a Republican bias in the House of Representatives as well as in many state legislatures. Democrats are determined to take this power back from the GOP. Virginia presents their first chance at flipping a closely-divided state legislative body that will be in power following the 2020 Census. Given that Democrats already hold the Governorship, which is not up for election until 2021, if the party can win majorities in both legislative chambers, it will have control over redistricting.

One Year Until Election Day

Sunday marks one year until the 59th presidential election on November 3, 2020. That's 366 days, including an extra day due to the leap year. 

If you'd like to make your first 2020 forecast, the map below might be a good starting point. It shows all states decided by 10 points or less in 2016. Those states decided by less than 5 points are shown as toss up, while those over 5 but less than 10 are shown as leaning toward the winning party.

If you haven't yet tried our redesigned format, and would like to view the map there, use this link.  

Beto O'Rourke Ends Presidential Bid

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke ended his presidential campaign Friday.  He posted a statement with the announcement. O'Rourke said, in part:

"Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully. My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country."

Hill Resigns as of Friday; Update on Four House Vacancies

Rep. Katie Hill resigned her seat as of Friday. The House now has 233 Democrats, 197 Republican, one independent and four vacancies. 

The four vacancies will be filled by special election in 2020. Ratings are subject to change. 

GOP Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon Not Running in 2020

Longtime Oregon Rep. Greg Walden said Monday that he will not seek a 12th term in 2020. Walden, the only Republican among his state's congressional delegation, represents a conservative constituency covering the eastern 2/3 of the state.  Oregon's 2nd district is the 6th largest congressional district by land area in the United States, trailing only New Mexico's 2nd in size among states with more than one at-large district.

Walden's 17 point margin of victory in 2018 was the smallest of his career. After winning his first term by about 27 points in 1998, he never had a re-election margin lower than 35 points. Donald Trump won here by about 20 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the district will continue to be rated 'Safe Republican' for 2020.

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill Expected to Resign This Week

Politico reports that California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill is expected to resign this week. She has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over an improper relationship with a member of her staff.  News emerged over the weekend that she gave the staffer the highest "2018 election bonus" of those in her office. This follows earlier news of an affair that predated her time in Congress, although this was not part of the ethics probe.

Hill is in her first term representing California's 25th district, north of Los Angeles. She defeated GOP incumbent Steve Knight by about 9% in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to win an election in the 25th district this decade*.  This was one of 7 districts in the Golden State to flip to the Democrats in that year's midterm elections.